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OWU Alumnus Reworks Moliere in 'Accidental Doctor' Production

October 16, 2001

[ 'The Accidental Doctor' Cast Photo ]DELAWARE, OHIO -- Actor, playwright and Ohio Wesleyan alumnus Jason Beehler illustrates the idea that miracles do happen in the medical field -- that one needn't attend medical school in order to become a medical doctor, and that even "red-necked opportunists" can practice medicine -- in his adaptation of Molière's The Doctor in Spite of Himself, titled The Accidental Doctor. The production, which is set for OWU's Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 26, 27, 28 and Nov. 2, 3 and 4, will be directed by OWU theatre chairperson Dr. L.B. Rabby, with set design by OWU theatre professor Glen Vanderbilt.

The Accidental Doctor takes its audience on a journey that Sganarelle, a member of the "prestigious" Miami trailer park community embarks upon to become a faux medical doctor. Sganarelle is assumed to be a doctor by two thugs sent by Gerald, a Miami thug, to find a physician to cure his ill daughter. Sganarelle prescribes a ridiculous cure for Gerald's daughter's muteness and wins acclaim among the community. Tied to this plot is the tragic tale of Lucinda, Gerald's daughter, who is being forced to marry a man she does not love. Lucinda is ultimately saved through Sganarelle's good-natured antics and schemes. He is a "resourceful redneck with a sharp mind and an incredible way with words."

Jason Beehler is an Indianapolis, IN native and a 2000 graduate of OWU. In addition to his work as assistant to the president at the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Beehler has recently appeared in Like Totally Weird and Touch, both staged by Red Herring Theatre Ensemble in Columbus. His short play Wives was produced by CACO and Playhouse West in Walnut Creek, CA. He says, "I am excited to be included in this adaptation of Molière's play, and think this adaptation captures the humor of Molière's work."

Costume designs for the play are by Melanie Miles, OWU's staff costumer, and theatre major Seth Reiser '03 is designing lights. The cast includes theatre majors Dan Granata '03, from Toldeo, OH, playing the comical Sganarelle; Maggie Flanagan '02, from North Ridgeville, OH, as Sganarelle's boisterous wife Martha; John Foughty '02 from Marysville, OH as Gerald. The lovers are played by seniors Shannon Felker from Cape Giradeau, MO and Andrew Eich from East Lansing, MI. The thugs are played by Alex Varel '04 from Dallas, TX and Nolan Dutton '05 from Oxford, OH.

The production will be performed on the Main Stage Theatre of Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave. Show times are 8 p.m. on Oct. 26-28 and Nov.2-4, with two 2 p.m. matinees on Oct. 28 and Nov.4. Tickets are $7 for the general public, $6 for OWU faculty and staff, and $5 for students and senior citizens. Group rates are available. Tickets are available at the drama center's box office, or by calling 740-368-3855.